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Firefighter dies while battling wildfire in Southern California sparked by gender reveal party

Firefighter dies will battling wildfire in Southern California
Posted at 7:18 AM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 09:38:24-04

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Forest Service says a firefighter died battling a wildfire in the San Bernardino National Forest in California.

The agency says in a news release that the death occurred Thursday as crews battled the El Dorado Fire.

The name of the firefighter is being withheld until family members are notified.

The El Dorado Fire was sparked on Sept. 5 by a pyrotechnic device used during a gender reveal party. According to a press release from Cal Fire, "those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible.”

Thursday's death marked at least the 36th death in a series of wildfires that have ravaged the West Coast dating back to mid-August. It's the first death recorded in Southern California — previous wildfire-related deaths had occurred in Northern California, Oregon and Washington state.